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Apply toothpaste. Brush. Spit. And repeat twice a day.

(Santa Ana) A typical Halloween night consists of dressing up and visiting neighbors, friends and family for candy distribution and eating. Halloween is only one night, but it is followed by many days of snacking on sugary sweets. In 2003, the Healthy Mouths Campaign established November 1st as National Brush Day to support the importance of children’s oral health and to promote good tooth-brushing habits.

Although National Brush Day comes once a year, regularly brushing your teeth is a habit that prevents cavities. The campaign encourages parents to make sure their kids brush their teeth for two minutes, twice a day. Teach your children a two-minute song to hum while brushing their teeth. Some good songs are:

  • Twinkle Twickle Little Star
  • Row Row Your Boat
  • Wheels on the Bus

The 2018 Orange County Dental Screening Survey revealed that nearly half of kindergartners had cavities but only one-third of those children had received treatment for their decaying teeth. This means there are kindergartners in Orange County who are currently suffering from decaying teeth.

Many parents believe that their children are brushing their teeth twice a day because the parents see the children putting the toothbrush in their mouths. However, children have limited hand-eye coordination which makes it unlikely they are reaching every tooth at every angle. Some children brush for less than two minutes and only touch the front and top of their teeth. As a result, these children may develop cavities despite the daily ritual of tooth brushing in the morning and before bed.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises parents to monitor their child’s brushing activity until they are eight (8) years old. National Brush Day was created to remind parents, caretakers or anyone responsible for a child, to take time out of their busy schedules to help the child brush his or her teeth on a daily basis. It is also important to encourage brushing after meals and sugary snacks.

On this National Brush Day, the Orange County Local Oral Health Program (LOHP) along with the Healthy Mouth’s Campaign encourages everyone, not just children, to brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes. The LOHP’s mission is to help all Orange County residents achieve the best oral health, and brushing your teeth is the first step. To get more information about oral health for everyone in your family, visit SmileHabitsOC.org at https://smilehabitsoc.org/

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